Biden Administration Weighs Increased Collaboration with Taliban to Combat ISIS-K

Two people with knowledge of the situation and a former U.S. official claim that Biden administration officials are considering increasing their collaboration with the Taliban government in Kabul in order to facilitate the tracking of ISIS-K, the terrorist organization’s branch operating in Afghanistan, in light of the escalating global terrorist danger.

The administration is working frantically to stay up with the growing threat posed by ISIS-K, as do other Western nations. Prior to this year, Western and American officials thought ISIS-K was capable of planning operations overseas, but lacked the will to carry them out. 

However, after the horrifying attack on March 22 at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall concert venue, which left hundreds more injured and 130 dead, that opinion was altered. Since 2004, it was the deadliest terrorist assault to occur in Europe. This year, ISIS-K also carried out a significant attack in Iran that left dozens dead, and additional plans were thwarted throughout Europe.

Nevertheless, Washington’s ability to obtain intelligence on the numerous ISIS offshoots has been hindered by the U.S. military’s pullout from Afghanistan and the waning Western influence in Africa.

A former military officer with local knowledge stated, “We have a very, very limited ability to see what they’re doing.”

Consequently, the government is considering providing the Taliban with additional details regarding the ISIS branch in Khorasan, also known as ISIS-K.

The Taliban has attacked ISIS-K multiple times because it perceives the group as a threat to its authority. However, following a 20-year conflict that saw American-led forces take against Afghan insurgents who seized power when American soldiers departed in August 2021, there is a great deal of mistrust between the West and the Taliban.

According to a former top official, “there is an internal debate about whether to try to work more with the Taliban.” Though they contend the U.S. would have to demand concessions from the Taliban in exchange, such as guaranteeing more rights for Afghan women, some members of Congress support the strategy as well.